Your Child's Wellness During COVID-19
The COVID-19 pandemic will have lasting effects for children throughout the country. After missing their last three months of school, many children are home for the summer too because their summer camps are cancelled. In addition, children are not immune to the effects of coronavirus as hundreds of children have been sickened by Kawasaki Syndrome symptoms. Simply stated, our children are almost as stressed out as we are as adults who have had to deal with COVID-19 for three months. There are also steps that you can take to help your child preserve their emotional well-being. Here are five tips to help your child's emotional health during the coronavirus.
Promote Physical Activity
Kids are better off when they have some sort of exercise or physical activity. While they still cannot play as much with other children as they did in the past, some type of exercise can still help their well-being. In that way, children are like adults in that exercise helps their emotional state. Even if there exercise is inside the home, it is best not to have children sitting for long uninterrupted stretches of time. Perhaps something like yoga can fulfill the dual functions of helping your child get some exercise while relaxing their mind. You could also teach them a new athletic skill that they can use when life returns to normal.
Listen and Support Your Child
Children are also feeling their own stress right now. They are coping with the disappointment that goes along with having things that they were eagerly anticipating cancelled. They are experiencing unhappiness of their own and need someone to talk to during this time. It is important to recognize that your child needs support too. While you may be struggling yourself, you need to remain strong enough to be able to help your children through the pandemic. Take the time to fully answer their questions and let them express their emotions. This will help them use their own coping skills to get through this difficult time.
Communicate About What Is Happening
Many children are able to follow the news on their own these days but they still have many questions. Life will continue to be affected until the pandemic is brought under control. As developments happen, you should discuss them with your children so they understand how and why their life is changing. Your kids need to hear it from you so that they are not left to form their own opinion based on the noise from the news cycle. Take the time to regularly provide them with information and be available to answer all of their questions. Your children should know that they can come to you to discuss COVID-19 and the ways that it is impacting their life.
Be Vigilant About Your Children's Emotional State
Even if your children are not seeking you out to discuss their worries, you need to keep a watchful eye on how they are doing during this time. This can include regularly taking the time to check in with them to see how they are feeling. Even if they are not talking, parents now their children well enough to spot the telltale signs that something is wrong. This could include mood changes and trouble with eating or sleeping. The younger your child is, the more difficult it will be for them to articulate their feelings. Thus, any signs of distress would be manifested in their changing habits. Children do not always tell you that they are struggling. Many parents notice problems due to things like sluggishness, obsession over certain habits and increased aggression.
Watch Your Child's Diet
The food that your child eats has a direct bearing on how they feel. While you do not have to completely alter what they eat to help their well-being, you should at least be aware of the amount of sugar that they are consuming. When combined with a stressful situation, high sugar levels can increase a child's anxiety and aggression. Try to balance nutritional food with their diet because it improves how a child feels. Of course, you should mix in some snacks to their diet so your child will steel feel some normalcy. One of the best things that you can do with foods that are a treat is to turn them into their own special event so your child can get excited and has something to look forward to on occasion.
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